Japan - Summer Hosting Program

The focus of the 4-H Japanese Exchange is to build friendships between youth and families of different cultures and provide both with an educational experience that will better prepare them for life in a global society. The program began in Oregon in 1972 and since then, over 5,000 Oregon families have hosted Japanese youth. The 4-H Japanese Exchange Program partners with three youth organizations, Labo, LEX, and Utrek, to bring Japanese youth to Oregon for one month between mid-July and mid-August. This time period coincides with the summer school vacation in Japan.

2018 Hosting Dates for Japanese Delegates

Labo and LEX delegates arrive at host families:  July 22
UTEK delegates arrive at host families:  July 24
Departure date from host family:  August 18

The Japanese Delegates

The youth organizations in Japan, Labo, LEX, and Utrek provide the Japanese delegates with the opportunity to participate in multicultural activities through club meetings and exchange programs. Through these organizations the delegates have worked hard to prepare for their trip, studying the English language and culture in the United States and participating in a series of orientation programs. The delegates range in age from 12-17. The delegates visit Oregon to experience everyday American family life. The students are not here as tourists, but to live with your family and participate in normal family activities.

The Host Families

The major qualification for a host family is enthusiasm and a willingness to open your home and hearts. Families can live in urban or rural communities and have a variety of different interests and backgrounds. You don't need a large house, or even a separate bedroom to be a host. In fact, it is best if the youth share a room with their host sibling. Host families do not need to plan special activities or incur extra expenses. Host families just need to include their new family member in their regular activities, including family trips and outings, sporting events, and visiting friends and relatives, even errands and chores.

Host families find that this program benefits both the delegate they are hosting and their own family. Hosting provides your family with the opportunity to:
  *Get to know a person from another culture and create a lifelong family friendship
  *Improve your family's understanding of another culture and language
  *Learn more about our own culture to share with the hosted youth
  *Increase family togetherness through planning for the experience
  *Meet and share with other families in the community
The 4-H Japanese Exchange Program provides support to prepare host families and works with them during the visit. This includes:
  *Extensive orientation programs at the local level
  *A Host Family Handbook and Japanese Language Book for every host family
  *The opportunity to exchange letters with the exchange student and their parents before they arrive
  *Local contact people to answer questions and help during the exchange
  *Group activity at the local level for host families and their Japanese youth during the visit

  *English speaking Japanese chaperones who stay in Oregon with the students. Also Japanese speaking Americans at the local and state level are available to help with translation.

How to Participate

Any family with a child between the ages of 11–18 can apply to host a Japanese youth. Any couple, family with small or grown children, or single person can apply to host an adult chaperone. A volunteer coordinator will arrange a home visit and interview to discuss host family interests and expectations and program requirements. References are required. Background checks will be conducted on all individuals, age 18 or older, residing in the host family home during the time the delegate is in Oregon.

Host families are chosen based on the program's ability to make a good match between family and student, adequate family facilities for hosted youth, and the willingness of the whole family to participate in the experience and follow program guidelines.

We ask for a commitment to host by May 1 to ensure adequate preparation time for orientation, an exchange of letters between families, and planning of activities.  However, applications are accepted until all youth are placed, generally around July 1.

Host Family Application Materials

How to apply to be a host family:

* Link to online application  please note you will leave OSU webpage

*  Host family references: 

NEW Potential Host Families: When filling out your online application, you will be asked to provide the email addresses of 2 individuals who are not related to your host family by blood or marriage.

Families who hosted in 2013, 2014, 2015, or 2016 (and submitted 2 references) do not need to complete the host family reference requirement.

* OSU Background/Criminal History Check Disclosure Notice & Release - required for all adults (18 and older) living in the home during the time of the exchange. Required for all new families and every two years thereafter.
* DMV records (Certified Court Print - driving history) - required for all adults (18 and older) in household that will be driving delegate. Required for all new families, and for individual's in returning host families if their driving record changes. If you can not go to the DMV and need to order your Oregon DMV records by mail, use this form.
* Conditions of Volunteer Service required yearly for all adults (18 and older) living in the home.

Checklist detailing all steps.

If you are unable to fill out the online application, please contact your county coordinator or 4-H office.

For more information about being a host family contact your county 4-H office, county coordinator or the State Coordinator (Summer Inbound 4-H Japanese Exchange Program) at 541-573-2506.

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